HP announced details of two new all-in-one desktops for its holiday lineup this morning. The updated TouchSmart 310 features a brand new case design and new touch software, including a new touch-based Marvel Comics download service with access to the largest library of streamable Marvel comics yet. HP has also created a new product family, the Omni, to encapsulate its low-cost, non-touch all-in-ones.
The new TouchSmart 310 features an updated pedestal design similar to the iMac, a change from the footed design of the previous models HP said was based on the look of a messenger bag. The new case is graceful enough, and the $699 starting price for its low-end AMD CPU and 20-inch display is fair, but the biggest news for this new all-in-one may lie in its software.
First, HP has tweaked the main TouchSmart software interface to streamline the way you access and organize media and applications using touch. In addition to organizing applications in a carousel layout, now you can also "pin" apps and individual media files to a more dynamic background featuring various parallax-animated environments. HP says this design lets you organize your touch software in a more natural manner, akin to how you might organize a desk.
In addition to the new background, HP has also updated the specific touch applications to the TouchSmart suite, most impressively with a new Marvel Comics streaming service, from which you can buy touch versions of more than 8,000 titles from the Marvel library. That number dwarfs the 500 Marvel titles available from Apple's iPad application. The Marvel app and the entire TouchSmart suite, dubbed TouchSmart 4.0, will also be available for download by owners of current TouchSmart all-in-ones.
HP also sells non-touch all-in-ones, but until now the branding has been confusing. HP has simply called them "All-In-One," as evidenced in this review. The new Omni line, starting at a reasonable $499 for the Omni 100, also features a 20-inch display, along with a dual-core AMD Athlon II 260u CPU, 3GB of 800MHz RAM, and a 500GB hard drive. You don't get any touch software, of course, nor access to a massive comics library, but generally speaking this seems like a fairly priced budget desktop.
Both new systems will be available from HP.com on Wednesday, and at retail on October 24.